Four Youth National Events Are Coming Up

Are you considering a trip to USCF Nationals this year? As things get busy with local club activity, local tournaments, and Illinois K-8 Scholastic Championships, the USCF Nationals sometimes sneak up on us and we miss "Early Entry Discounts."  Below is a summary of USCF National Scholastic Events - along with the entry deadlines.

Eighth Annual All Girls National Championship, April 8-10, Chicago, IL
$50 if postmarked/online by 3/13; $70 if by 3/27; $85 by 4/7 or $90 on-site.

2011 K-9 Championship,  April 15 - 17,  Columbus Ohio
$$50 if by 13 March, $70 if by 27 March, $85 after 27 March or $90 at site

2011 National High School K-12 Championships,  April 29 - May 1,  Nashville, TN      
EF: $$50 if p/m by 27 March, $70 if by 10 April, $85 after 10 April or $90 at site.

2011 National Elementary K-6 Championships,  May 6 - 8,  Dallas TX    
EF: $$50 if p/m by 3 April, $70 if by 17 April, $85 after 17 April or $90 at site.

State High School Team Championship Underway

More than 1,000 high school players have converged on Peoria for what over the years has grown to one of the largest team chess tournaments in the world.  Play in the seven-round tournament started Friday morning, with 128 high school teams participating.  After six rounds of play, just two teams remain undefeated:  Last year's state champs Niles North in Skokie, and perennial top-10 finisher Whitney Young of Chicago.  It's the second consecutive year that the two teams have met in Round 7.  Niles North was the only undefeated team going into the last round last year, and by the narrowest possible margin spoiled Whitney's hopes of tying for first, eking out 38.5 points of a possible 68.  In that match, Niles North board 1 NM Eric Rosen lost the game and the 12 points that go with it in the team score to Whitney expert Michael Auger, his longtime friend, but the Niles North team came through anyway to carry the match.  Rosen and Auger again face each other in the crucial Round 7 match, but Whitney this year has more depth than last, with expert Sam Schmakel, a freshman, holding the Board 2 spot.  What will happen this year?  See the results when they come in at the IHSA website.

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2011 Illinois K-8 Championships on March 5-6

The 2011 Illinois K-8 Chess Championships will be held on March 5 & 6 at the Illinois State University Bone Student Center. The Illinois Chess Association recognizes this tournament as a state championship for individuals and for school teams. The Bloomington/Normal Area Scholastic Chess organization is honored to host this grand event! There will be over 120 individual trophies, 40 team trophies, and ribbons for all participants. An arrangement with the Marriott Hotel in uptown Normal has been made to provide 75 rooms at the price of $99.00 plus tax. The hotel is located 3 to 4 blocks away from the tournament site. It is also in close proximity to the Amtrak train station. Please mention the K-8 Chess Championships. More information on the tournament is available here.

New Qualifications for Warren Junior Scholar Program

At its Jan. 27 board meeting, the ICA board approved revised qualifications for the Warren Junior Scholar program, which serves the state's top youth chess players.  Warren Scholars are chosen every February, and in the past it's been based on having attained a certain place in the national rankings during the prior year.  Under the new guidelines, students may now also qualify if they achieve certain minimum ratings during the prior year.  Players in high school now qualify for the program if they've achieved a minimum 1900 peak rating in the past 12 months; players younger than high school qualify if they've achieved a minimum 1700 peak rating in the past 12 months, and girls of any age qualify if they've achieved a minimum 1500 peak rating in the past 12 months.  For more specifics, see the ICA Warren Scholar page.

Players who qualify as 2011 Warren Scholars will be notified within the next week, and will be recognized during the awards ceremonies at the state high school team tournament in Peoria and the state K8 championship in Bloomington. 

Many Excel at State Girls Tournament; Shayna Provine Wins Title

Caitlin Hong, Highland Park, 1st place K3Thirty-four players came from near and far to compete in the 2011 State Girls Open Championship sponsored by the ICA Warren Junior Program. It was the first time in three years that a state all-girls open was held. Shayna Provine of Plainfield took first place in the open section with three points out of four, edging out other 3-pointers Cheryl Liu of Buffalo Grove, second place; and Madeleine Reiches of Evanston, third place, on tiebreaks. Miranda Liu of Long Grove and Adele Padgett of Lake Forest took fourth and fifth, respectively.

In the K3 section, Caitlin Hong of Highland Park and Samantha Moyer of Chicago were the top scorers with 3.5 points each. Caitlin, who was playing in her first ever rated tournament, took the first place trophy on tiebreaks, and Samantha took second. Other trophy winners in the K3 section, all with 3 points, were Eric Costigan of Park Ridge, 3rd place; Nuha Mozumder of Champaign, 4th; and Isabella Rhee of Wheaton, 5th place.

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